(Image courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com, thelantern.com, stats courtesy of teamrankings.com)
Ohio State (12-4, 2-3) hosted Purdue (13-6, 6-2) on Wednesday evening. The Buckeyes had their losing streak extended to five games with the loss, 79-67, to the Boilermakers. Ohio State held the lead 17-8 after 9 minutes of play. Over the next 8 minutes, Ohio State was outscored 31-7 to trail 39-24 with approximately 2 minutes remaining in the half. A Musa Jallow dunk followed by an Andre Wesson half-court heave a minute later, at the buzzer, pulled Ohio State to a 10 point deficit at the half, 39-29.
By the mid-point of the 2nd half, Ohio State had pulled to within 2 points, 58-56. As late as the seven minute mark, Ohio State was still in this game trailing by 3 points, 64-61. Then a cold front moved in: in Ohio State’s next 11 possessions (more on that, below) the Buckeyes were 2-7 from the field, 2-3 from the foul line and committed 2 turnovers. Down 5 points with 2 minutes remaining in the game, Ohio State went missed FG, missed FG, turnover. Purdue ran out the clock in the final 29 seconds and walked away with the 79-67 win.
The Buckeyes had three players in double figures. They were Andre Wesson (22 points, a career high), Musa Jallow (12) and Luther Mohammad (10). Musa led the team with 6 rebounds, followed by Justin Ahrens with 5. C.J. Jackson had 3 of the teams’ 11 assists.
The Boilermakers were led by Carson Edwards (27), Ryan Cline (13) and Trevion Williams (10). Matt Haarms had a game high 7 rebounds. Edwards and Grady Eifert each had 4 assists.
Ohio State shot 52% from the field (23-44), 45% (10-22) from 3-point range and 68% (11-16) from the foul line.
Iowa shot 48% from the field (23-48), 50% (12-24) from 3-point range and 84% (21-25) from the foul line.
What Went Right
Although the result has been the same of late, the Buckeyes played with more energy in this game. This was a much better effort than they’ve had lately. They just happened to be a bit undermanned against Purdue.
Andre Wesson had a phenomenal game. A career high 22 points on 9-10 shooting, 3 rebounds and a steal. Musa Jallow, in 31 minutes, had 12 points, a team high 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Justin Ahrens 6 points and 5 rebounds in his 17 minutes.
The offense is an incoherent mess right now. Their shooting percentages aren’t too bad, but when you insist upon turning the ball over, 19 times, you limit your scoring opportunities.
Aside from turning over the ball a lot, there is another issue with their offense. They don’t seem to be in any hurry to score. Going back to the last 7 minute stretch, Ohio State’s last possessions averaged over 18 seconds each. To be fair, Purdue ran at about the same pace, but they were holding the lead and Matt Painter felt he could burn clock, and he was abetted but Holtmann.
- Staying with the offense for a bit, there is a bit more to their offensive issues than playing stall-ball. They appear to be content running a weave offense at or about the 3-point line. There isn’t much effort in the way of attacking the post nor “moving” defenders with inside-outside ball movement. One of the results is that Ohio State doesn’t get to the free throw line as often as their opponents and it’s killing them right now. In their five game losing streak, Ohio State has been outscored 75.2-65.6, 9.6 ppg. They are being outscored at the free throw line 19.6 – 10, a… 9.6 ppg difference.
- Ohio State’s lack of forecourt depth is really going to be a hindrance. Now it gets worse, per thelantern.com. Kyle Young, he who owns the baseline, will be out of action for several weeks due to a stress fracture to his lower right leg. Let’s hope for a quick and full recovery.
- According to teamrankings.com the Buckeyes are projected to finish the regular season 18-13 and 8-12 in B1G play. They rank Ohio State as the 37th best team in the country and #9 in the B1G. Their chance to make the NCAA’s is 19%. They are projected to have a 21% chance to beat Nebraska.
The Buckeyes travel to Lincoln, NE for a Saturday afternoon (Eastern Time) game. You can watch the game on FS1 or listen to it on 97.1 The Fan. Or both.
The Cornhuskers (13-6, 3-5) are averaging 77 points per game while allowing 62 ppg. They average 36 rebounds and 10 turnovers per game. For comparison, the Buckeyes are scoring 75 and allowing 65 points per game. Ohio State averages 36 rebounds and 12 turnovers per game.
Nebraska has four players that average double figures scoring per game. They are 6’6″ G James Palmer, Jr. (19.4), 6’9″ F Isaac Copeland, Jr. (14.3), 6’0″ G Glynn Watson, Jr (13.2) and 6’8″ F Isiah Roby (10.7). Roby also leads the team with 6.6 rebounds per game. Watson, Jr leads the team with 3.8 assists per game.